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Mind-Controlled Robot Avatars Inch Towards Reality

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the what-skynet-wants-us-to-think dept.

Input Devices 34

Zothecula writes "Researchers at the CNRS-AIST Joint Robotics Laboratory (a collaboration between France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) are developing software that allows a person to drive a robot with their thoughts alone. The technology could one day give a paralyzed patient greater autonomy through a robotic agent or avatar."

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Think about the damage malware could do. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41976331)

Out of control avatar murders 17 innocent people in downtown Memphis. Handicapped owner claims she is not responsible. Story at 10.

Re:Think about the damage malware could do. (2)

psithurism (1642461) | about 2 years ago | (#41976457)

"the robot is simply performing a preset action"
So the story would more likely be: Out of control avatar retrieves soft-drinks for 17 not-thirsty people.

The avatar idea here is pretty cool, but not even the author seems to understand why they don't just cut to eye-tracking, instead of the whole: reading the patients mind to determine what they are looking at. It looks to me to be an easy way to over complicate an already difficult project.

I wonder how disabled you have to be to get one. I mean, what if I just really don't want to walk all the way over to the fridge, could I get one prescribed?

Re:Think about the damage malware could do. (2)

Carnildo (712617) | about 2 years ago | (#41976921)

The avatar idea here is pretty cool, but not even the author seems to understand why they don't just cut to eye-tracking, instead of the whole: reading the patients mind to determine what they are looking at. It looks to me to be an easy way to over complicate an already difficult project.

Eye tracking doesn't actually work that well for anything other than large-scale movements. You may think you're staring intently at that can of beer, but actually your center of focus is jumping all over the place [wikipedia.org] . With luck, brain tracking will work better.

Re:Think about the damage malware could do. (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 2 years ago | (#41978265)

Perhaps because eye tracking could not move a remote camera (or else you could never look at anywhere but the center of the screen without indadvertedly shifting the whole image). It makes a lot of sense if you're building an avatar.

Surrogates (2)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 2 years ago | (#41976337)

This sounds like a rudimentary version of the robot avatars in the movie Surrogates.

Re:Surrogates (2)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#41976369)

This sounds like a rudimentary version of the robot avatars in the movie Surrogates.

...or in the novel Blue Remembered Earth.

Re:Surrogates (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#41976479)

Or the anime Angelic Layer [wikipedia.org] - in fact, in that one, the mind-controlled robots were created to fund research into medical technology, as suggested in the summary.

Re:Surrogates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41976823)

In that line, we're still ok, just as long as Kuratas [dailymail.co.uk] doesn't get live ammo. This one isn't mind-controlled per se, but it does shoot when you smile.

Re:Surrogates (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#41977025)

Or any other SciFi novel written in the past 50 years...

Re:Surrogates (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#41976485)

This sounds like a rudimentary version of the robot avatars in the movie Surrogates.

I was thinking it was more like robotic version of alien surrogates in the move Avatar.

Re:Surrogates (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41976681)

Or a big, black wheelchair in which you can communicate using one beep for yes, two beeps for no, even though somehow you can drive it around using your mind, implying a much greater nuance to your control over it, since you have to be able to go forward, backward, and varying degrees of left and/or right.

Come to think of it, that whole "Captain Pike's chair thing" didn't make much sense.

Copypasta (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | about 2 years ago | (#41976379)

This has been done before, many, many times. Every time the story breaks as if its some new technology to control things with your mind, when it really isn't anymore.

Re:Copypasta (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41976913)

Pretty much and they are using EEG tech which is not where mind control devices should be going. They need to focus on neurons instead of the general brain activity. If they don't do that then they won't get anywhere besides wagging a tail, moving cat ears, or having 11 programmable macro keys.

So this would now require drivers to think? (1)

billrp (1530055) | about 2 years ago | (#41976515)

That would be something most people might not be able to do consistently - and when someone begins to daydream?

Re:So this would now require drivers to think? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#41978759)

I would imagine roughly the same thing that happens if you begin to daydream while you might be talking. You stop.

Evangelion... (2)

NouberNou (1105915) | about 2 years ago | (#41976587)

Does it only work on 14 year olds with dead parents?

Re:Evangelion... (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 years ago | (#41978221)

Gendou Ikari didn't look quite dead to me...

Mix this with quantum entanglement (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41976667)

And we can tour the universe.

Re:Mix this with quantum entanglement (2)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 2 years ago | (#41976811)

It just so happens that turning right, walking forward and then picking up a can off a table is Zeta Reticulan for 'we offer ourselves as your slaves'.

Re:Mix this with quantum entanglement (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 years ago | (#41977317)

Shouldn't that be "picking up a beeper"? If it is, you've got yourself Karel the Robot.

This + Oculus rift (1)

lightspeedius (263290) | about 2 years ago | (#41976787)

This could pretty much allow someone freedom of movement and independence of function. I imagine it could be quite bizarre though, using a robot you can see through to pick up and move around your rift wearing body, for example.

A couch potato's dream come true (2)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#41976791)

They just need to be able to pop a beer top and open a bag of chips to be extremely useful.

Re:A couch potato's dream come true (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 2 years ago | (#41976839)

I imagine they'll also need to know how to sponge bathe and spoon you too.

Little did they know that... (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 2 years ago | (#41976793)

....Reality was a small town in Iowa. The war would begin soon.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about 2 years ago | (#41976957)

avatar inches toward YOU!!!!

Robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41977813)

This sounds incredibly cruel. Mind control powers aren't to be used to take the freedoms of robots away. Someone should do something about this.

Screw medicine (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about 2 years ago | (#41978267)

Make it fast and precise and you can replace the keyboard and mouse. I want a VR headset and a working mind reader!!!!

Re:Screw medicine (1)

hajus (990255) | about 2 years ago | (#41978335)

Sounds worse than a tablet.

Re:Screw medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41998555)

sounds better to me. absolutely no repetitive stress, and eventually neuroplacity means that the mental gestalt for the character would automatically put that character in, same that when you type on a keyboard, you don't think "move finger to the little stud under your left hand", you just think F, which took a year of constant training in High school for me.
the mouse would have to use different system though, say a cursor with 2 or more gestalts on it (similar to a trackball).

again, it is all about neuroplasticity. couple this with mind to mind transmission, and you have everything you need for telepathy.

Distracted driving (1)

illestov (945762) | about 2 years ago | (#41978349)

Sounds like a really bad idea to try to control a 5000lb car with your mind that can barely stay focused on one thing for more than 5 seconds It would be a lot easier to just input the destination and have your car take you there autonomously! But thats just waay too far fetched =)

XIN GIY PHÉP V SINH AN TOÀN THC PHM  (1)

duykhoa1027 (2773841) | about 2 years ago | (#41978405)

antoanvesinhthucpham.net/vina/vsattp-237-414/xin-giay-phep-ve-sinh-an-toan-thuc-pham-o-dau.html

Mind controlled or brain controlled? (1)

Epeeist (2682) | about 2 years ago | (#41978681)

Are we sure that mind and brain are synonymous? That type-type mind-brain identity theory is correct?

starcraft dragoon: I have returned (1)

Meyaht (2729603) | about 2 years ago | (#41979671)

I'm putting myself into one of these bodies.

RSI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41986353)

You don't need to control fancy robots for this technology to be useful. And average programmer suffering from RSI like myself would benefit tremendously if this replaced keyboards.

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